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Gaddafi family to file NATO war crimes complaint

27 October, 2011

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PARIS: Muammar Gaddafi's family plans to file a war crimes complaint against NATO with the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the alliance's alleged role in his death, the family's lawyer said Wednesday.

The 69-year-old ex-strongman was captured and killed Thursday near the city of Sirte in circumstances that are still unclear, but it has been confirmed NATO aircraft fired on pro-Gaddafi vehicles driving in a convoy from the city.

Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Gaddafi's regime and now represents his family, told AFP that a complaint would be filed with the Hague-based ICC because NATO's attack on the convoy led directly to his death.

"The wilful killing (of someone protected by the Geneva Convention) is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC's Rome Statute," he said. He said he could not yet say when the complaint would be filed, but said it would target both NATO executive bodies and the leaders of alliance member states. "Gaddafi's homicide shows that the goal of (NATO) member states was not to protect civilians but to overthrow the regime," Ceccaldi said.

"Either the ICC intervenes as an independent and impartial jurisdiction or it doesn't, in which case force will overrule the law," he said. Libya's ruling National Transitional Council has announced an investigation into Gaddafi's death.

International disquiet has grown over how Gaddafi met his end after NTC fighters hauled him out of a culvert where he was hiding following NATO air strikes on the convoy in which he had been trying to flee his falling hometown.

Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil on Wednesday urged NATO to continue its Libya campaign until year's end, saying loyalists of slain despot Muammar Gaddafi still pose a threat to the country.

Abdel Jalil's comments, made at a Doha conference of military allies of his National Transitional Council (NTC), came a day after Gaddafi's body was buried in secret under cover of darkness after being displayed in public for four days.

"We hope (NATO) will continue its campaign until at least the end of this year to serve us and neighbouring countries," Abdel Jalil, NTC chairman, told the Conference of Friends Committee. This request is aimed at "ensuring that no arms are infiltrated into those countries and to ensure the security of Libyans from some remnants of Gaddafi's forces who have fled to nearby countries," he added.

The NTC is also seeking help from NATO in "developing Libya's defence and security systems," Abdel Jalil told the conference.

In Brussels, diplomats said NATO had decided to delay a formal decision to end Libyan air operations until Friday after the NTC's request for an extension and a Russian demand for UN consultations.

End.

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